Chiefs Adopt Resolution to Support First Nations One Match Stem Cell and Marrow Network
First Nations Chiefs support OneMatch Stem Cell & Marrow Network encouraging registration of more Aboriginal stem cell donors
September 27, 2012 (Dartmouth) – A Resolution in support of the OneMatch Network has been passed today by the First Nations Chiefs of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat. The Resolution is intended to encourage First Nations people in Atlantic Canada to register with the OneMatch Network. Improving the health care of First Nations peoples is an important priority for Atlantic First Nations communities, and the passing of the resolution is intended to raise awareness of the need for Aboriginal stem cell donors to support Aboriginal patients. The more Aboriginal people join, the more Aboriginal patients will have opportunities to access matched stem cell donors.
OneMatch is currently supporting 12 Aboriginal patients in need of a stem cell transplant. Although OneMatch has over 330,000 registrants willing to donate their stem cells to any patient in need, Aboriginal peoples are under-represented and make up only 0.9 percent of the Network. As a patient’s best chance of finding a match are with an optimal donor – a young (ages 17-35) male of the same ancestry – more Aboriginal people are needed to join.
“The resolution is a significant step towards increasing support for Aboriginal patients through better access to unrelated stem cell donors,” says Chief Candice Paul. Chief Paul continues that “with the support of our Chiefs, OneMatch can reach more potential donors among First Nations communities in Atlantic Canada.”
Chief Paul has long been an advocate for First Nations health issues and supports the work of OneMatch. Chief Paul is also a recipient of the Chief Michael Augustine award in recognition of her contribution toward improving the health of First Nations people in the Atlantic region, and is part of the Chief Committee of Health representing NB and PEI on the Assembly of First Nations (AFN).
The APC resolution follows a resolution passed by the AFN last fall, supporting OneMatch’s work with the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada in registering more potential optimal donors from Aboriginal communities. It is another step forward in providing better health outcomes for Aboriginal patients in Atlantic Canada and nationwide.
Currently, the quickest way to register is through online registration at www.onematch.ca. You can also call Canadian Blood Services at 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) to have a registration package mailed to your address.
Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network is a program dedicated to recruiting healthy, committed volunteer donors for patients in need of blood (hematopoietic) stem cells. OneMatch also conducts searches for matched, unrelated donors for patients; ensures donors are healthy and able to donate; and, coordinates the collection and delivery of stem cells in Canada and around the world. As an accredited member of the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA), OneMatch represents an important part of an international group of 66 registries and 47 cord blood banks that transmit their donor HLA typing results to Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide (BMDW). As a result, when searching on behalf of Canadian patients, OneMatch has access to more than 19.9 million volunteer donors in 28 countries and more than 550,000 cord blood units from 47 cord banks in 28 countries. As part of Canadian Blood Services, the provincial and territorial Ministries of Health provide operational funding to OneMatch. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.onematch.ca.
About the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat
The APC Secretariat is an advocate for speaking with one voice on behalf of First Nations communities. Through research and analysis, we develop and table policy alternatives for matters affecting First Nations communities in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and Maine, USA. Our mandate is to "research, analyze and develop alternatives to federal policies that affect the Mi'kmaq, Maliseet, Innu and Passamaquoddy First Nations in the Atlantic region."
For more information contact:
Patient & Transplant Liaison Specialist
Canadian Blood Services
OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network